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White Male Commentators
27 January 2018
Most of the commentators are white foreign commentators. Where are the women and people of color?
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Pan Am (2011–2012)
1 December 2014
The stewardesses look just the way I remember them when I was flying 1/2 fare student standby on Eastern and Delta in the 60's (when coach passengers were served full course meals...and drinks cost a dollar!) My fake college ID kept me fly high in the friendly sky.

Female flight attendants were all young and pretty because the airlines enforced severe restrictions on age, race, weight, figure, height, and marital status (singles only!). No, June Cleaver could not be a waitress in the sky in the good old days. Airlines were selling service and sex appeal!

At that time flight crews were 99% white before discrimination laws ended the airborne fantasy.

Male pilots were rarely as young as this TV cockpit crew because most were probably retired military hired by airlines after flying planes in World War II and Korean Conflict.

The opening scene has just flown me back 50 years (my God am I that old?) and I am already hooked. I never flew Pan Am but I am sorry the TV show never got off the ground.
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Our Paradise (2011)
Unhappy Ending
19 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
OK, a gay-entered crime story involving aging prostitute and gorgeous young hustler is refreshingly different BUT you gotta hate this psychotic serial killer and his beautiful boyfriend despite efforts to make this tragedy a storybook love story. I wanted to see these guys get what was coming to them in the worst damn way, but the ending is both confusing and disappointing. Did the cute couple kill the young boy's mother or were those sounds of passion the boy heard? It seems no one lived happily ever after in PARADISE.

The hustling, prostitution, and violence in this movie pretty much accurately reflects the real deal in the male sex trade all over the world. The acting is good but the story does not reveal what motivates the killer to kill without hesitation or guilt. Was he raped or abused as a child? The story lacks depth to help us understand what's going on with this lunatic.

The editing is also jarring. When the action jumps to the French woman and her kid I wasn't sure if this was the same movie or some faulty videotaping. The abrupt ending makes the movie seem incomplete.
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Dear Don,
1 June 2013
I was only 11 years old when I fell in love with Don Murrary during his naked bathtub scene in Bus Stop in 1956. He was the most beautiful perfect male I had ever seen on screen. I will always remember Don doing sexy sit-ups in clingy long johns so it is indeed ironic and delightful seeing Don in Advise & Consent playing the closeted homosexual husband - a painful role I would later assume as an adult in real life. Don is boyishly cute as ever and is the only reason I revisit this fine film again and again. I also love the shots of vintage Washington...especially the classic cars, wireless streetcars and buffalo statues on the Q Street bridge where I jog.

I dislike Charles Laughton as the senator from South Carolina as much as I dislike Strom Thurmond, the real racist and persecutor of African-Americans.
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Malaga (1960)
So So
4 February 2013
Dorothy Dandridge is the only reason to see this awful film. The plot sucks. The dialog is really stupid. The film is racist because Dorothy and Trevor are not allowed to touch even though they share the same bed. This was Dorothy's last film and the desperation shows.

After her Oscar nominated role as "Carmen Jones" in 1954 Dandridge was offered only one more starring role in a big production movie because Hollywood didn't know what to do with a beautiful black leading lady...thus relegating the star to whatever low budget B or foreign films her devoted manager could scrounge up.

"Porgy and Bess" followed five years after "Carmen" but was universally panned or boycotted by blacks resenting the mammy images and blatant racial stereotypes created by producer Otto Preminger, Dorothy's back door white lover.

Actually Trevor Howard is much too ugly to kiss beautiful Dorothy Dandridge...race aside. She should have been given a handsome leading man like her lightweight boyfriend in this film. Still I would love to see legitimate quality copies of MALAGA, MURDER MEN, and PORGY & BESSS released on DVD.
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Lush and Plush
28 March 2010
Savannah is lush and plush. I used to hang out at the clubs, parks, Greyhound Station and cemetery during my overnight layovers when I was a Train Attendant on Amtrak's "Palmetto" from Washington, DC to Savannah in the late 80's and early 90's. There was an active male prostitute and drug business in the beautiful squares after dark. Drunk college students weaved in and out of the downtown clubs and gangs of horny black gay guys were always cruising about, so I couldn't wait to taste the flava of the week. The best bar-b-q and fried fish was sold at a greasy spoon near the Howard Johnson Lodge where the train crew stayed...and the naughty projects were close by. I was devastated when our contract hotel was moved out of the city. Many of the scenes in this movie are familiar, but there should have been more - like SCAD and the old Central of Georgia train station which hosted the legendary "Nancy Hanks" streamliner Miss Charlotte rode to and from Atlanta. Savannah - like Charleston and New Orleans - is a true Southern Belle.

Kevin Spacey looks and acts like his real life gay character, Jim Williams...and his eyes light up like a Christmas tree whenever John Cusack appears. Is Spacey merely in character or is he simply overcome by Cusack's boyish beauty? Cusack is no great actor but he possesses a cute baby face and a matinée idol appeal that celebrity worshipers and co-stars adore. His naive appeal obviously turns Lady Chablis on and they make a perfectly odd couple. It makes you wonder what happened after they left the black débutante ball - arm in arm headed to her place "for a drink".
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Runaway Jury (2003)
27 March 2010
After reading the book the movie is sadly disappointing mainly because the main attraction was changed from cigarettes to guns. Did the tobacco industry silence the Hollywood producers? What a shame! Outdoor scenes are nice because New Orleans - like Savannah and Charleston - is seductive with lots of spice and flava...and a truly unique Southern Belle. Grisham should have never allowed Hollywood to change his highly emotionally charged masterpiece which tackles the tobacco industry and exposes all the lies and deception perpetuated by masters of deceit. John Cusak is not much of an actor but he possesses a cute baby face and matinée idol appeal that celebrity worshipers adore. His boyish appeal obviously turns Lady Chablis on and they make a perfectly odd couple. It makes you wonder what happened after they left the black débutante ball - arm in arm headed to her place "for a drink".
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Anna Lucasta (1958)
gay icon
20 February 2010
I can see why Eartha Kitt has always been a gay icon and why her legion of gay fans - black and white - kept her working during the twilight years of her extremely long career in show business. She's campy, witty, sexy, and vulnerable...and a very funny funny girl with a very sharp tongue especially when she delivers her trademark rapid-fire one-liners in the opening barroom scene. Her grand entrance is over-the-top and her timing perfect. In a perfect world Kitt would have been right up there with Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford and Rita Hayworth...BUT she was BLACK...and Hollywood has had few decent leading roles for black actresses like Kitt, Dandridge, Horne...or even Halle. The black family in this movie is captured with humor and dignity by a sterling cast of black actors hungry for work other than playing maids, butlers, African natives, and southern slaves. "Anna Lucasta" is a Black Classic.
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Dorothy Dandridge in Decline
14 February 2010
This was Dorothy's last film...and it's a winner. Her acting career never took off after her Oscar nominated role in "Carmen Jones" because Hollywood did not know what to do with a beautiful black actress under contract. So it did nothing. Only Europe beckoned with starring roles in "Tamango" and "Malaga" but these poorly promoted films were little more than American-style "B" movies. Ironically Dorothy's role as a drug addicted singer in "Murder Men" mirrored her real life decline into booze and prescription drugs. Dandridge was 40 when she made "Blues for a Junkman" and looks it...circles around tired eyes that make-up don't seem to hide. Her singing is lifeless which is why this role was perfect for her. She merely had to be herself...defeated. What a shame! What a waste! Hollywood never promoted her great talent because of institutionalized racism in the United States. Too bad this superb movie is not available on DVD...another Hollywood oversight.
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Remains To Be Seen on DVD?
15 December 2009
For years I've been wishing and hoping to see Dorothy Dandridge in "Remains to be Seen" on DVD. I've only seen a short clip of Dorothy's stunning night club number and it is a visual knock out! Lena Horne's movie appearances were largely confined to such cameo scenes which could easily be extracted for southern audiences whose only acceptable image of a black woman was an grinning eye popping big black mammy in a head rag serving "Miss Charlotte". Still Ruby Dandridge (Dorothy's "Mommie Dearest") made a good point when she quipped, "It's better to play a maid than BE a maid." Maybe daughter Dorothy used the same logic years later when she decided to PLAY a slave in "Tomango"...or maybe it was a simple choice "to work or not to work" since DD was offered no leading roles after "Carmen". There was just no decent work for a beautiful colored girl in Hollywood in those days and things haven't really changed that much. Halle Berry, Dorothy Dandridge reincarnated, still faces and fights racism and typecasting at the myth factory. Why doesn't MGM release this dud solely for avid Dandrige fans like me who would gobble it up? I also look forward to seeing a restored "Tomango" and "Porgy and Bess" on DVD. Other Dandridge movies that have not been released on DVD include "Blues for a Junkman"(TV)/"Murder Men"(European version w/nude scenes)" "The Decks Ran Red" "Bright Road" "Four Shall Die" "Malaga" and "Marco Polo".
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Omar loves Johnny loves Omar
2 October 2009
Omar and Johnny make two unlikely soul mates, but they are certainly a pair of beautiful color-coordinated lovers. The love scenes are passionate, but skimpy which is the norm for gay couples in so-called "mainstream" flicks. I like the way the film really does not make a big deal about two good looking sexy guys in love, but focuses more on racism and class issues that plague the UK...and US! Playing a gay character early in his career certainly did not sabotage Daniel Day-Lewis' success in films. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he is also a great actor.

Not many "straight" Hollywood stars have the courage to play gay characters even though gay rumors have often been flung at box office hitters like Will Smith, Kevin Spacey, and Tom Cruise. I wonder if Daniel Day-Lewis would play a gay role at this point in his fabulous career? Speaking of actors playing gay roles, where is that "other" guy who starred in "Brokeback Mountain"? And what ever happened to Gordon Warnecke? The fact is there are no plum roles in the UK or US even for a drop dead gorgeous Pakistani actor of color, gay or straight.
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25 July 2009
Beautiful movie. Beautiful actor. A testament to the power of the human spirit. I'm viewing it for the 2nd or 3rd time...and it still makes me cry! This movie should inspire struggling gay, lesbian, and transgender people all over the world. Thai boys (and girls!) are exceptionally beautiful, especially the young male beauty who entices Toom to throw the fight. I can see why American tourists flock to Bangkok...and why the HIV rate is so high in Thailand! I wish there had been at least one nude shot of Asanee.

When I was fighting in Vietnam in 1969, most African-American soldiers I knew went to Bangkok for R & R, but I didn't because I did not know how a black "gay" soldier would be received...anywhere. So much for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". I guess it would not have mattered because I, like all the other gay men in my Battalion, hid in the closet. Everyone knew. You just didn't talk about it in mixed company. (It would be many years later before I learned about the gay sex trade in Thailand.) BlackMates were always bragging about how Thai people treated them like kings...unlike super-racist Australia and Hawaii. (I guess American dollars helped, cause you know money talks!)

Donde esta Asanee Suwan? I want to see more of this gifted young actor.
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Keillers park (2006)
Therapeutic Value of Keillers Park
21 June 2009
I can relate to Peter because I was a closeted gay husband for 12 years (1967-79). Unfortunately I never met a true love to draw me out of the closet and force me face the facts of life. There ain't much motivation to be honest in one-night stands.

Nassim has a most delicious body and his teasing romp in the nude is a joy to watch. The sex scenes are uncompromising and beautifully shot. I was surprised by the negative reaction from Peter's family and friends, because I thought Swedes were more accepting of homosexuality...however his wife's anger and sense of betrayal was to be expected.

Keillers Park deals honestly with men on the down-low entrapped by deception and self-hate. The film is therapeutic for me because it has helped me release a lot of bottled up guilt and shame.
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